Cosmopolis

 
(i)

 

Intense, brilliant, and complex, but not for Twilight fans.
  • Review Date: August 20, 2012
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 2012
  • Running Time: 108 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Cosmopolis is a dense movie with many different but timely ideas about the differences between the wealthy and the lower classes. The wealthy main character has enough money to try to buy perfection, but he finds he can't have it and still longs for something -- even if it's pain. His journey isn't very clear, but it appears that he's beginning to ponder the "beauty of the lopsided." Either way, the movie is likely to inspire discussion.

Positive role models

No role models; these wealthy characters are unhappy and selfish, with little regard for humanity or others' feelings.

Violence

For the most part, violence is kept to a minimum, but there are three sudden, violent, intense moments involving stabbing and/or gunshots and blood. Also, after getting hit by a pie, the main character kicks a man in the crotch.

Sex

The main character is married and has graphic sex with two other women during the course of a day. One sex act has no nudity, but the other features full-frontal female nudity (and very nearly full-frontal male nudity, but not quite). Also strong sexual tension and talk about sex throughout.

Language

Language is very infrequent but includes one or two uses of strong words like "f--k," "t-ts," and the "N" word.

Consumerism

Some scenes appear to take place in or around Times Square. Some billboard advertising can be glimpsed in the corners out of the limo windows, but it's not overt.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

The main character drinks what appears to be vodka and, later, brandy, in his limo. Cigarettes are mentioned but never produced.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Cosmopolis, based on a novel by Don DeLillo, is the latest from offbeat director David Cronenberg. It's intense and complex and definitely intended for adults rather than star Robert Pattinson's Twilight-loving tween/younger teen fans, though mature teens may be interested in the film's timely themes. Sex is the biggest issue: The main character is married and sleeps with two other women over the course of one day. The sex scenes are graphic, and one features full-frontal female nudity. (Sex talk and sexual tension are pervasive throughout the film as well.) There are three sudden, shocking violent incidents involving guns, knives, and blood. Language is very infrequent but includes single uses of strong words like "f--k." And Pattinson's character drinks what appears to be vodka and brandy in two scenes, but not to drunkenness.

What's the story?

One day, Eric Packer (Robert Pattinson), a 28-year-old multi-billionaire, decides to get his hair cut. This will require a trip across New York City on a day in which the U.S. president is in town and a rap star's funeral takes place, making traffic a clogged nightmare. While in his stretch limo, Packer meets with various advisors, businesspeople, and dealmakers, as well as a doctor for his daily check-up. He occasionally gets out for meals with his wife (Sarah Gadon), or for trysts with his mistresses. As the day stretches onward, Packer becomes more and more disheveled and less able to grasp his idea of perfection. Worse, it appears that someone is out to kill him. ...

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

One of the most brilliant and potent of all modern directors, David Cronenberg is fond of tackling intellectual questions -- and fascinated by the point at which intellect and the needs and functions of the human body meet. Adapting Don DeLillo's 2003 novel, he sprinkles gloriously deep, poetic, thoughtful dialogue throughout COSMOPOLIS. The characters mainly discuss business, money, and wealth, as well as more abstract concepts. But at the same time, the body keeps interrupting. Food, sex, sweat, and even blood come into the equation.

Ultimately, it seems that Cronenberg is curious about the humanity of the wealthy. With all their comforts and protection, it's as if they need to stretch in odd directions for input, like a plant reaching for sunlight. Whether or not he forgives them is perhaps up for interpretation. But these questions and others, in addition to a great, dreamy visual scheme and great performances, make Cosmopolis a worthwhile challenge, though not everyone will be up to it.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about Cosmopolis' sexual content. How does it portray sexual relationships? Parents, talk to your teens about your own values regarding sex and relationships.

  • What is the movie trying to say? What is its theme? What makes it timely?

  • Is the main character a respectable, responsible person? Is he someone to be admired or emulated?

  • Why does the main character resort to violence? Why would someone want to use violence against him?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:August 17, 2012
DVD release date:December 31, 2012
Cast:Juliette Binoche, Robert Pattinson, Sarah Gadon
Director:David Cronenberg
Studio:Entertainment One
Genre:Drama
Run time:108 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:some strong sexual content including graphic nudity, violence and language

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What parents and kids say

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Kid, 12 years old July 8, 2013
 

strong languaje

word like f--k
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Adult Written bySynchronicity August 26, 2012
 

Taut thriller about the one percent is classic Cronenberg; as such, it's not for Twilight fans or young teens, who probably will get bored by it anyway

David Cronenberg is one of my favorite directors, and while Cosmopolis is by no means his best work (Crash, Videodrome and A History of Violence all take that honor), his ability to bring out the best in his actors and the worst in people is in full force yet again. Based on the darkly comic novel of the same name by Don DeLillo, this film is unlike anything you've ever seen, will not be to everyone's taste, and is not - I repeat, NOT - aimed at lead star Robert Pattinson's audience of shrieking tween/teen fangirls. On the contrary, this is a film for older teen and adult eyes only. Cosmopolis mostly takes place in a massive, technologically advanced stretch limo owned by Pattinson's character Eric Packer, a 28-year-old billionaire who lives the good life. The basic premise involves his trip across New York City to get a haircut, but there's much more going on in Cosmopolis' almost two-hour runtime. In between Packer's pleasure seeking, suicidal business deals and philosophical discussions, there are several events that not only impede the course of his limo, but also cost him his life. No spoilers, but like many other wonderful thrillers of late, everything seems normal until the shocking events and plot points come about. While the fact that the film mostly takes place in a limo is intriguing, the film does suffer from a few minor pacing problems - some of the discussions meander quite a bit, and there is sometimes too much left to the viewer's imagination. On the other hand, the latter attribute could also incite much discussion about wealth, longing and moral ambiguity. In general, Cosmopolis is an insightful picture, but most Twilight fans will be bored - and just as well, since the content is quite risque. There are two fairly graphic sex scenes, each featuring Packer with one of his mistresses. The first has no nudity of note, but still quite a bit of detail, including a few thrusts. The second is far more graphic, with full-frontal female nudity, almost full-frontal male nudity, and even brief implication of fetish activity (the woman takes out a taser and brags about it somewhat, but doesn't use it on Packer, even though he really, really wants her to). In another scene, Packer gets a prostate exam by his doctor during a conversation about a business deal. He's fully nude in this scene as well, and although we see him only from the waist up, there's some sexual tension in this scene as well as other snippets of conversation with his wife and a business partner. There are three brief but shocking moments of violence: a diplomat is stabbed in the eye with a knife on live television (some spurts of blood, though this is filmed from a distance); one man unlocks a gun another man is holding with his voice, and the latter man shoots him in the head (not graphic, but very shocking); and a man shoots through his hand (the bullet impact and blood are both shown). Also, a man is approached several times by people who want to kill him. In terms of profanity, there are about five f-bombs and some miscellaneous uses of "t*ts", "n*gger" and "*sshole". In short, Cosmopolis might not be everyone's cup of tea, but it's still a good thriller with a career-best performance from Robert Pattinson. However, Twilight fans should look elsewhere.
What other families should know
Great messages
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

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